Money Management Challenges
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports that vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older. The National Eye Institute reports that most people with color blindness are born with it, and even people who are not born with color blindness can experience different color variations. Colour Blind Awareness reports that there are more than 300 million cases of color blindness world wide. With this in mind, it's clear that many people experience vision impairments in a variety of ways.
Managing finances is often inherently a visual activity. However, we want to support inclusive approaches to money management and ways of supporting financial wellness that meets the needs of everyone, so we've compiled a list of ways that people with vision impairments can manage their finances, be it cash, or electronic.
Use a System to Identify Physical Cash
Creating a system to identify bills is a common practice people with vision impairments can use to better manage cash. For example, individuals can fold bills in different ways in order to distinguish which is which.
- $1 bills are kept flat,
- $5s are folded in half vertically,
- $10s are folded lengthwise,
- $20s are folded in quarters.
This is just one example of how to create a system to distinguish money. The important thing is to find one that is best to manage.
It's also important to note that some countries' physical currencies have different characteristics (size, color, etc.) to assist with identification. However, the United States' physical currency still has primarily the same size for bills even though coins are different sizes.
In today’s landscape, there are a lot of ATM’s across the US that are operated using speech automation. In order to use an accessible ATM, the individual can plug headphones in the jack on the ATM. The ATM will then automatically switch into an accessibility mode, and prompt you with audio instructions.
To find the closest ATM is located to you, you can call your bank’s customer service number or visit their website.
Remember, using an ATM outside of your financial institution's network may cost more money, so asking about available accessible ATM's when choosing a financial institution could help save money in the long run.
Online banking can be a great accessible source that allows you to access your checking, savings, credit card, and other financial accounts. Overall, most websites are accessible and able to be used with screen readers.
When looking for a financial institution, you may look for reviews of their apps from an accessibility perspective or ask if they have demo versions of their online banking portals for testing with screen readers for usability.
SMMC tries to enhance accessibility with our materials and web-resources on a continual basis. We recognize we have a long way to go still, but we actively seek out ways to improve our user experiences for everyone. Have a suggestion? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conclusion, vision impairments affects a significant number of people worldwide. Everyone should feel empowered to manage their own finances. Creating accessible money management tools are imperative to make money management accessible for everyone!